November 5

Channeling Patty Wagstaff; Focus and Discipline!

Educational Excellence

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It is too easy to focus on the negative viewpoint when considering the overwhelming number of Loss of Control accidents.  The more positive flip side is just that every pilot should approach flying with a high degree of focus and discipline. Mastery of the airplane and environment should be a self-motivating goal for every good pilot. And hopefully, every pilot has in their heart the drive to continuously improve and be the top of their game.

Unfortunately, emphasis on only “fun and the easiest, cheapest pathway” can lead to a very dangerous aviation experience. Aviation requires we do our homework, practice and learn our skills, and only then engage in this amazing activity. This can be a wonderful motivation for improvement. Join us in our live Loss of Control discussion Nov 16th featuring Patty Wagstaff and Rich Stowell.

In this YouTube Patty very clearly explains her personal motivation for her obvious aviation mastery; she is charged up *because* what she does is difficult (and even more challenging for a female). She clearly emphasizes the need for complete focus on the mission at hand and a thorough knowledge of the airplane and its systems. Fortunately, we are not pursuing aeronautical control at the level of Patty Wagstaff, but channeling that same attitude of professionalism and mastery can make us all better pilots.

“I think that one of the major reasons I like to fly is the mastery of this machine in a three-dimensional airspace; when you’re really comfortable with an airplane and you’ve really mastered it, you really can control it. To be a good and safe [aerobatic] pilot you have to have 100% concentrated focus on the activity at hand. The reason that I love flying and love aviation is because it’s always a challenge, it could never be boring because it’s never the same.”


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About the author 

David St. George (Lifetime Member)

David St. George learned to fly at Flanders Valley Airport in 1970. Proving that everyone is eventually trainable, he became an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor for airplanes (single and multi, instrument, and glider) and serves the Rochester FSDO as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. In this capacity, he gives flight tests at any level from sport pilot to ATP and CFI. For 20 years David was East Hill Flying Club's 141 Chief Instructor and manager. David holds multi and single engine ATP pilot certificates, with pilot ratings for glider and seaplane. He recently earned his ninth renewal as a Master Instructor and owns an Aeronca Champ so he can build hours for that airline job! He is now flying charter: http://learnturbine.com

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